21 September, 2005
Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said on Tuesday that "the European Union's counter-statement constitutes a kind of birth certificate of the 'de facto' recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey."
Koumoutsakos, who is accompanying Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis on his contacts on the sidelines of the 60th UN General Assembly, was commenting on the EU counter-statement responding to the unilateral statement made by Turkey on July 29 that it does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus.
The foreign ministry spokesman believes that "this text renders Turkey's obligation to fully implement the Protocol on Customs Union towards the Republic of Cyprus as an EU member-state clear and imperative."
Koumoutsakos' full statement on the issue is the following:
"Following a long, complex and difficult, literally word-for-word, negotiation an agreement was reached today (Tuesday) which, unless something unexpected happens, is expected to be adopted formally by COREPER tomorrow, on the European Union's reply to the known unilateral Turkish statement on July 29.
"In parallel, intense consultations are continuing on the negotiating framework between Turkey and the EU. That is on the general, as well as binding framework of prerequisites and obligations which Turkey must fulfill during its long course towards accession to the EU. And this negotiation developed positively for our side.
"As regards the European counter-statement in particular, I wish to stress that it is a clear European reply to the unilateral Turkish statement in July. It is a text of particular significance which includes all the declared aims of Greece and Cyprus.
"This text renders Turkey's obligation to fully implement the Protocol on Customs Union towards the Republic of Cyprus as an EU member-state clear and imperative.
"The EU's counter-statement constitutes a kind of birth certificate of the 'de facto' recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey. At the same time, firm foundations have also been laid for its 'de jure' recognition as well.
"These are developments of evident importance which were inconceivable a few years ago. As a matter of fact, they also place the issue of Cyprus in a new and more favorable framework.
"This result came after the incessant efforts which were made at all levels with determination and a clear strategic direction.
"They are the result of daily consultation and cooperation mainly between Athens and Nicosia, and with our other partners as well, including the British Presidency, of course."
Source: Athens News Agency